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Migrating from GE Genius? Your Available Options

March 31, 2017
replace ge genius Are you considering replacing your Genius modules after Genius retires? On June 1, 2017, Genius I/O modules will officially be discontinued. Upgrading to a GE product that’s readily available is an attractive choice for many users of GE controllers in light of this change. Getting the support and components you need for your Genius line of products is still possible with Qualitrol. You might choose to keep your Genius modules or you may consider migrating your entire system to get on board with the latest technology and minimize risk. No matter which path you choose—migration or continuing to use Genius—Qualitrol can help. You have several migration options available to you. We’ve outlined a few choices you have when it comes to migration to take advantage of the best technology when considering a move away from Genius. When you do choose to migrate, Qualitrol can help make the process stress-free. We provide staff to change out your system after we conduct a risk assessment and talk with you about your future plans. We help you be prepared regardless of what’s in store for your PLC system. What does your business need out of a migration? Here’s what to consider before jumping into your options.

Inspect Your Current PLC Setup When Considering Migration

You should consider the Genius modules you’re currently using as well as their location when thinking about migration. In order to do this, inspect your PLC hardware. To move your existing system successfully, transferring to the PACSystems RX3i from GE is your best option. The good news is that this transition is straightforward thanks to GE! You just need to gather a few simple pieces of information to help determine your migration plan. You should count the number of I/O drops including the module count at each drop location. Check the distance of all cable runs between I/O drops and the PLC. Also inspect the space inside each cabinet that can be dedicated to Genius block replacements. Next, you can focus on cabling after inspecting your PLC system. Genius typically relied on long cable runs, but PROFINET is available in order to produce the most effective and reliable networking for your Genius replacements with few wiring changes. This is because PROFINET is ideal for harsh factory conditions where office Ethernet isn’t. PROFINET also allows data in real time to see errors the moment they occur. This can help you to prevent waste, downtime, and ultimately, disaster. Having better cabling can result in better data with improved Industrial Ethernet. GE PROFINET products allow you to have a flexible architecture in addition to servicing your machinery from virtually anywhere. PROFINET is an efficient choice for PLC users when it comes to replacing Genius and its cabling system with a cost effective solution. Now that you’ve examined your PLC setup and checked the cabling setup, consider these three options for Genius migration to see what would work the best for you based on this information.

Option #1: RX3i Expansion Racks for I/O

RX3i I/O Expansion racks are ideal when your factory setup isn’t limited on space and you want the best solution to replace Genius. Since these racks are directly mounted, this reduces the cost for your future wiring and makes maintenance a little easier. These racks are your most efficient choice when space is available. You have the choice of either 7-,12-, or 16-slot RX3i chassis, which can effectively customize your I/O drop location. These expansion racks will effectively replace Genius and add a PROFINET Scanner (PNS) module to connect your I/O rack to the PROFINET ring. This is your most robust solution for I/O when it comes to replacing Genius!

Option #2: CEP/CEE Modules from RX3i

If your space is a bit limited and you have a small I/O drop location, consider CEP/CEE modules from the RX3i from GE. With this setup, two RX3i modules are supported. A PROFINET ready CEP drop with a CEE option for a second module helps this solution capitalize on both space and flexibility. Just provide Ethernet cabling and power to your CEP module and you can connect your RX3i I/O module. Using this module is an extension of a single slot to the CEP, so you can easily add a second module and have multiple drops in a single cabinet. With a CEP/CEE setup of multiple drops, you can accommodate a minimum I/O count but still retain the robustness needed for your RX3i I/O to swap out Genius.

Option #3: Slice I/O Modules from RSTi-EP

If you’re entirely limited on space but need a great I/O setup, RSTi-EP slice modules could be your best solution. These modules are cost efficient and come with a PROFINET Network Interface module. You can easily add on slice modules as needed, since they stack together with a connected power source and data signals, meaning a backplane is unnecessary. You have limitless options for I/O when replacing Genius with these modules. When you want the most performance for the smallest space, RSTi-EP slice modules are your best option. With only 11.5mm of horizontal space taken up, this means you get the highest I/O count with the smallest cabinet space. Since these are the smallest modules in the industry, you have the potential for big savings when making use of space with these highly expandable modules.

The Right PLC Migration Plan for You

One of the greatest things about these three options for Genius migration is that they can all work together by connecting to the same I/O network. Working with us at Qualitrol ensures that you’ve got support even after Genius retires. When you want to keep Genius or if you want to migrate, we’re ready to help you make your best choice. We can begin by conducting a risk assessment of your current setup to get you on the path to effective Genius maintenance or migration from Genius to the RX3i. Contact Qualitrol for all your Genius needs and consider us for help with your migration solutions today!  
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